Strengthening Healthcare Systems to Meet Patients’ Need for Plasma-Derived Therapies

October 03, 2022 : As part of their well-established collaboration, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and Takeda (TSE:4502/NYSE: TAK), an international pharmaceutical leader and a current member of the United Nations Global Compact, are delighted to announce a new joint initiative concentrated on strengthening countries’ healthcare systems to satisfy patients’ need for plasma and plasma-derived therapies. The endeavor will draw on UNITAR’s expertise in practicum and education toward developing innovative solutions to global problems and Takeda’s deep knowledge of rare diseases and the plasma ecosystem.

Global demand for plasma has dramatically expanded over the past 20 years. It is continuing to grow due to growing numbers of patients with rare diseases being diagnosed, as well as enhanced standards of care and global access to treatment. This request for life-changing and life-sustaining plasma-derived therapies far surpasses the available supply, resulting in more worldwide working to access the medicines they need, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

This initiative aims to create a neutral, UN-based platform that will bring together experts, patient organizations, policymakers, civil society, academia, and the private arena. Through boosting awareness, establishing partnerships, and facilitating entry to the latest scientific knowledge and best practices, this platform strives to support countries in finding tailored solutions to improve the quality of living and life expectancy of patients who depend on plasma-derived therapies. The undertaking will also focus on complementing and seeking synergies with other existing initiatives to develop plasma ecosystems and patient access to care.

The significance of plasma-derived therapies is affirmed by their acceptance in the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines1, emphasizing their importance for the healthcare system and the need to foster access to these products in all countries. Similarly, many countries acknowledge the need for – and interest in – amplifying their healthcare systems’ resilience in the plasma supply field. Pending official confirmation, the initial phase of the present initiative will be implemented in collaboration with two nations, whose forward-thinking participation in this program to strengthen their countries’ health infrastructure around plasma and the patients’ plasma-derived therapies can help will act as a pathfinder for potential expansion of the project in the future.

UNITAR will function as a project coordinator, hosting the platform as a collaborative framework for stakeholders to meet, lead reported dialogues, and lay the groundwork for future collaboration.

“Accessibility of life-saving and life-sustaining plasma-derived therapies can be a case of life or death. As part of the mandate within the United Nations System, we will operate hand-in-hand with Takeda to create capacity, increase awareness, enhance partnerships and enable access to the latest scientific knowledge and best practices in this field,” added Nikhil Seth, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNITAR. “I am happy to see the partnership between UNITAR and Takeda growing. It can serve as a strong example of how public-private partnerships can contribute to the goals of the Agenda 2030 and address some critical global challenges, such as ensuring access to health, reducing imbalances, or improving the quality of technical education.”